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Politics
Rahul leads opposition uproar in LS demanding debate on communal tension
07-08-2014

NEW DELHI: Rahul Gandhi, who has been accused of being inactive in Parliament, was in the forefront, as the Congress along with other opposition parties created uproar in Lok Sabha on Wednesday, demanding urgent discussion on the communal situation in the country.

The combative Congress vice-president, who is a third time member of the House, entered the Well for the first time to join his party members in demanding an adjournment motion on the issue which was opposed by the government.

Outside the Parliament, Rahul Gandhi slammed both the government and the Lok Sabha speaker. “We are not being allowed to speak in Parliament. We are asking for discussion. There is a mentality in the government that discussion is not acceptable. Everybody feels it, their party feels it, we feel it, everybody feels it,” Gandhi had told reporters outside the House.

“We are raising a point, we are asking for discussion... The Speaker, I mean...It is completely one-sided, partiality. That’s what we are raising,” Gandhi said.

“There is a mood in Parliament that only one man’s voice counts for anything in this country,” he said after Congress members stormed the Well of the House demanding a discussion on growing incidents of communal tension.

Meanwhile, Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan vehemently rejected Rahul Gandhi’s charge of bias, saying she gave opportunities to speak to all members and parties but she could not help it if some people still levelled allegations against her.

As the House assembled for the day, Congress pressed for suspending the Question Hour to take up the motion. Rahul joined his party colleagues in slogan shouting in the Well against the government after he was seen having some discussion with his mother and Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

Amid the din, the Question Hour went on except for a brief adjournment. Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, while opposing the motion, said there was no communal tension in the country.

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan assured the Congress members that they could raise the issue during Zero Hour. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was present in the House during the din. During the Zero Hour, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge made a strong pitch for taking up the matter through an adjournment motion, saying there were several such precedents.

Attacking the government, Kharge said, “Since this government has come to power, communal riots are spreading everywhere. Who is behind it? That has to be discussed.” This triggered vociferous protests from BJP members.

Kharge claimed that the discussion should be held as communal violence was spreading everywhere and it was the duty of all those in the House to maintain peace in the country. Kharge was immediately supported by Tariq Anwar (NCP) but the Parliamentary Affairs Minister dismissed it as a baseless allegation. “It is objectionable. There is peace in the country and there should also be peace in the House,” he said.

Congress, RJD, SP, RSP and AAP members were in the Well raising slogans like “we want justice” and shouting “Pradhan Mantri kahan gaye, bhag gaye, bhag gaye (where is the Prime Minister? Has run away, run away).”

The Speaker asked Kharge to specify where such incidents have taken place, to which the Congress leader said “at many places”. Immediately, Naidu got up to term it as “a sweeping allegation and I condemn it. The country is safe and secure under the leadership of Narendra Modi.”